Monday, September 17, 2007

A Night in Avoch

When my friend had a chore to do in Dingwall and she asked if I would like to go with her and make a trip out of it, I knew it would be a good time; I just had no idea what kind of a good time. The photos are snaps of the view out our window in the little bed and breakfast in a fishing village south of here called Avoch (pronounced something like awk). My friend found it by happy accident when the B and B next door was not able to accommodate us. It would be hard to imagine a lovelier setting. That was the first treat of the adventure. The day was as beautiful as the photo suggests with soft air, bright sun, just a bit of coolness in the air to say that Autumn was coming. A particular treat for me was the sight of trees, deciduous trees with leaves in colours of the season as I know it. I love the heather and the barley and the lovely grey stonescapes, but I miss trees. In my zeal, I planted an orphaned Acer (genus of Maple trees) that I bought for a pound at the local charity shop. Although it is only 13 inches tall and has only three leaves, the leaves managed to stay on the tree and to turn a cheery red within the protection of the walled garden. These full size trees put the brave little Acer's display to shame, but they have many years on her. I believe in her. In time she will rival these grand dames.
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Avoch was a treasure as well. We walked the old streets of the village along the harbour admiring the colourful, well kept fishing cottages with flowers everywhere. Fuschia, roses, forget me nots, nasturtiums and calendula tumbled out of window boxes and pots on door steps, which filled the air with both scent and colour as we walked by.
We looked up my friend's former driving instructor and as I have come to expect as part of life in Scotland, we were accepted graciously despite not being expected. He had recently re married and his wife has an infectious good humour. They showed us the room where they often do Karaoke on the weekend and somehow it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to be singing a verse of "Wake Up Little Susie."
By the time we left their good company, the only restaurant still open in the village was an Indian takeaway. We improvised a picnic on a bench by the harbor illuminated from behind us by the street lights and silhouetted y the lights on the far shore, which cast silvery shadows on the ripples of the retreating tide. A cat unabashedly stopped by to see if any of our dinner was available for sharing and then moved off with no apparent disgruntlement when no food was forthcoming.
The last treasure of the evening in Avoch was talking uninterrupted with my friend. Although she is my oldest friend--in duration, not in years--in this part of the world, we had never spent time on our own away from our homes and husbands. In keeping with the unwritten laws of women's conversations, we talked freely and widely and as long as we could keep our eyes open. I talked about my old life and so with my friend I talked that part of me into this new landscape. I heard stories of her life in a time and place of matrons and starched caps, so that I knew some of her former selves as well. Fortified with our adventure, our stories, and a wonderful breakfast, we went on to slay the dreaded chore, which if done quickly enough, would allow time for a visit to a yarn shop and more talking.


At 1:31 AM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

Oh what an absolutely gorgeous photo! Sometimes one needs to go away to other places to have lots of sharing.

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

lovely account of time exceptionally well spent.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks. Ampiggy. Yep, going away changes our perspectiuve or maybe just quiets other things and lets the conversation grow on its own.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hayden, are you back in California yet? Did your trip change your perspective?


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